The decision has fueled speculation that the Ma administration is nervous about the outcome of the elections and does not want to lose face in the presence of foreign observers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has allegedly postponed all funding for groups of international academics who had applied to come to Taiwan to monitor the January elections, sources said yesterday.
In one case, a group of four academics from Australia that obtained approval more than a month ago was informed by officials at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canberra on Thursday that the grant would be postponed until late January, meaning that it would be made available only after the elections.
For that delegation, funding was to cover accommodation for four nights and five days through the Jan. 14 elections, as well as airfares. The members of the delegation were informed about the decision in writing.
According to one source knowledgeable of the affair, the decision came from “high up” at the ministry and “all delegations,” including those from the US and Europe, were also reportedly informed that funding deals were postponed.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.